SC asks for National plan on COVID-19 situation
The Supreme Court recently asked the Government of India to submit a National Plan on the COVID-19 situation. Supreme Court took a Suo moto cognisance and issued a notice to the central government on the supply of COVID-19 supplies such as oxygen, COVID care essentials and medicines.
Why did SC step in?
There are several high court hearings underway regarding COVID-19 preparedness. Some are even dictating lock down rules. Thus, SC has stepped in to control the actions of these courts and to establish that the lock down protocol and imposition should be left to the central and state governments. The courts shall only observe and guide them.
What did the Supreme Court say?
The Supreme Court said that the right to impose lock down should be reserved with the states and not with the courts. The Supreme Court recently stayed an order issued by the Uttar Pradesh High Court to impose lock down in several cities in the state.
About the Notice Issued
The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the centre on four issues. They were on supply of essential drugs, supply of oxygen, power to declare lock down and method of vaccination.
Suo Motu Cognizance
Suo Moto Cognizance is when an Indian Court takes a case on its own. The Suo Moto Cognizance has been awarded to the courts under Article 32 and Article 226 of the constitution.
The Article provides powers to the Supreme Court to issue directions, orders, writs to enforce rights conferred to the court. In simple terms, Article 32 empowers the Supreme Court to issue Suo Moto Cognizance.
The article empowers the High Courts to issue to persons, authorities, orders, directions, mandamus, quo warranto, prohibition.